Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon

I think the first time I saw the name Wei Wu Wei were the striking quotes attributed to him in my all-time favorite book, David Carse’s Perfect Brilliant Stillness (save your moola! Read the whole thing online for free here).

I later found out there were 8 books attributed to W.W.W. on Amazon so put all on my wishlist. Last Christmas I received 3, one of which happens to be the 1st in the series (published in 1958). I read it over the last 9 days.

You can’t really summarize a book like this as there’s not a plot or theme, apart from just… THE TRUE NATURE OF REALITY(!). Imagine an old Zen master looked over his diaries, containing thoughts he’d jotted down on a variety of topics, and decided to cut & paste the ones he thought might be helpful for future students. That’s this book.

To WWW’s eternal credit, he published under a pseudonym (his real name was Terence Gray) as he apparently wasn’t seeking glory, students, or a career as a spiritual teacher. (If he went by what was normal these days, he’d call himself Grayji or Akashananda and hold “satsangs”. He apparently wanted to spend time on other things, such as breeding race horses, making wine, marrying a Russian princess, and living the good life at 1 Palais de la Mer in Monaco).

WWW’s writings have a bit of a learning curve as you adjust to his vocabulary. He also likes to periodically use French idioms, not because there is no English equivalent, but apparently just because it sounds more elegant! I will be keeping this book to re-read probably several times as 20-30% of it I just couldn’t penetrate (particularly his bits on time & space. Sure I passed my physics classes but wasn’t one of those talented enough to be able to actually visualize gravity as warped space or time and space as being the same thing).

You should definitely try before you buy. You can almost read abbreviated versions of the books by clicking on “Contents and extracts” for each here.

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